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ISP Vodafone UK Withdraw Ex-Bulldog LLU Broadband Network UPDATE

Tuesday, September 10th, 2019 (1:06 pm) - Score 2,757

Customers who still connect via Bulldog’s legacy unbundled (LLU) ADSL broadband platform (including via other ISPs) are being informed that Vodafone has announced the withdrawal of their service and plan to switch off related Multi-Service Access Nodes (MSAN) in November 2019.

The move won’t come as a huge surprise given Vodafone’s recent decision to scrap their aged Demon Internet ISP brand (here), which similarly forced some of those on copper ADSL broadband lines (i.e. customers living outside of FTTC areas, with only ADSL available) to find an alternative provider.

Admittedly only those with an extremely long memory will remember the ex-Bulldog LLU network, which was one of the first unbundled providers in the country. The last we heard their remaining customer base had been sold to Home Telecom in 2012 (here), which occurred in the same year that Vodafone acquired the underlying network (retained for wholesale) via their Cable & Wireless acquisition (some of that old kit has remained in use).

According to an industry source with knowledge of the latest situation, Vodafone has notified of a plan to fully withdraw their ex-Bulldog based broadband platform and switch off the related MSANs on the 15th of November 2019. As with the Demon closure before, related ISPs and customers are being encouraged to upgrade to a Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC / VDSL2) line instead, coverage allowing.

A Vodafone Spokesperson told ISPreview.co.uk:

“We wrote to impacted ISPs on the legacy bulldog LLU broadband network a few months ago, which was owned by Cable & Wireless Worldwide (CWW). Vodafone acquired CWW in 2012.

As part of our modernisation programme, we are closing down old legacy systems due to ageing technology.

We are working closely with our partners to ensure a smooth migration of their end users to an alternative service.”

The change appears to affect customers on a number of different ISPs and any associated partners, although Vodafone was not able to confirm precisely how many connections would be impacted by their decision.

UPDATE 11th Sept 2019:

Just to confirm, the above move affects both ADSL and SDSL MSANs on the aforementioned network. Some partner ISPs for Vodafone are telling us that they haven’t been selling new connections on those since the start of this year.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
Leave a Comment
8 Responses
  1. AnotherTim says:

    It won’t affect me as they don’t operate in my area anyway, but as someone with only ADSL available I’d prefer to see ISPs close their ADSL down only when FTTC or better is available, and not just push customers off onto one of the ever decreasing number of ISPs that do still offer ADSL.

  2. Brian says:

    Its sad to see the choice for those stuck on ADSL reduce further.

  3. Occasionally Factual says:

    So Vodafone stop supplying customers with ADSL which reduces customer choice while simultaneously taking legal action to stop BT Openreach installing fibre so reducing customer choice even more.

    Great company!

    1. CarlT says:

      Isn’t the legal action regarding leased / private lines, not PON FTTP?

  4. Mike says:

    With 4G and various other fixed wireless providers there is practically no excuse to still be on ADSL.

    1. Tom says:

      Except when I’ve got one site with 200kbps DSL and “4G” even on a massive pole away from all the buildings on any provider doesn’t get any signal.

    2. Mark says:

      No good if your nearest mast is nearly 3 miles and has never been upgraded 2G only. Remember some areas even with a few thousand population still aren’t covered either by planning or nimbys, so the choice is limited, copper or nothing.

    3. Mike says:

      What type of antenna? Yagi?

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